Friday, January 8, 2016


My life has been pretty much the same for years and years. I've lived in this town since 1987. And while I LOVE Kalamazoo, changes seem to be afoot. My hubs is starting to talk about retiring.  That's all well and good, but he's talking about retiring somewhere besides here.

At first it was Traverse City. I really like that town, but I wasn't sure I wanted to live there. But that doesn't matter anymore because now he talking about moving west to be out in the wild. Idaho to be precise. That will put us SO much closer to our sons that live on the west coast. At first I was like What?? No way!!! What's in Idaho besides potatoes?? But now I'm starting to embrace the idea..  Turns out Idaho is amazing!!! It's home to the largest forested wilderness in the lower forty-eight.  2.3 million acres to be exact!

We aren't leaving tomorrow or anything. A whole bunch of things need to transpire before this move can take place, selling the farm being the biggest hurdle. But that's fine by me. It will give me the time I need to say my goodbyes to the Mitten, and this amazing little city I love...

Journal Journey Day 8

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Fill in the blank..

Green with ____.  Most people have no trouble finishing this sentence.

"Envy is the art of counting the other fellow's blessings instead of your own." Harold Coffin

I think we can agree that everyone has felt envy at one time or another. It's not pretty. Or healthy.  In this world of social media I think envy may be more prevalent than ever. We see SO MANY details of other people's lives. Mostly the great stuff that is happening for them.

It all seems to begin with comparison. So there I was, happily tra-la-laing along with my gizmo. Then I checked in on Facebook and saw that someone else has the newer, bigger, better, more expensive  model. I looked down at my gizmo and was not quite as satisfied.  The gizmo I loved just a few moments ago had suddenly fallen short.. So and So has the new model, and it's beautiful. Suddenly, out of nowhere, up pops that niggly, painful feeling..I want what THEY have! And just like that,  envy is born, with maybe a teeny tiny bit of resent thrown in. Ugly emotions both!

Comparison is a dead end street. There is no way we can be happy for others or content with our place in this world if we are always comparing.  Someone will ALWAYS have MORE than us. More money, be more beautiful, more fit, travel more..

To nip envy in the bud I need to be proactive. Figuring out the "triggers" that set off this negative feeling is top priority, then I can avoid getting into those situations. For example, we don't have to follow every single one of our "friends" on Facebook.

I have found that keeping a sufficiency journal where I list my blessings, and practicing the ole daily "attitude of gratitude" is what works best for me.

That..and staying off Facebook, lol!  ;)

Journal Journey Day 7

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

It's a dog's life.

I crave a life like my dog's.  He is just so chill. His world is what it is.  Snoozing in the sunny spot, sniffing for rabbits along the trail to the barn, assisting me in the kitchen as clean up crew.

He's not worried that yesterday he begged WAY too much or that tomorrow he has a vet appointment. He seems content no matter what he is doing. Sure he has his favorite things to do that make him happy and satisfied, but even so, he has has this easy-going attitude that I admire greatly.

Living in the moment. That's what it is. Finding joy in just being. Content in the now-ness. No matter how badly yesterday went or what's on my plate for tomorrow, I have decided to see every day as a treasure. Even the ones that seem somewhat mundane.
Let them ALL be dog days..

Journal Journey Day 6

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Outstanding in my field

By nature I am more than a little laid back (slothful).  I am practically a professional in my area of expertise (doing nothing). My husband thought maybe I would like to get a job (since I don't seem to be getting anything done around the house).

But there doesn't seem to be many jobs that allow for my kind of skill (snoozing), so I have struggled (procrastinated) to find a new career path since my kids have grown up. (never even tried).

I am considering (no I'm not) going back to school to gain more education (do students still play cards in the cafeteria?)  I just haven't decide what I'd like to go into yet. (And probably never will)

Until then, to show my husband that I am a team player (get him off my back), I am considering a job at Marshalls or TJ Maxx (where I will spend more money than I will ever make).

Journal Journey Day 5 (and already slaphappy) ;)

Monday, January 4, 2016

I have nothing to say.

Journal Journey Day 4

Hmmm.. I don't think I have what it takes to journal much tonight. I'm kind of exhausted it would seem,  I have nothing to say. Well that's never stopped me before. Soooo...

I feel like I woke up tired and it has taken every ounce of resolve not to just lay down and pretend I'm sick.  First day back to reality after the holidays....I was up and at 'em early-ish. Rufus had a vet appointment for  his ongoing allergy issues, poor old guy. I had laundry up to my eyeballs and NO hubby friendly food in the fridge. I can't even remember how I used to do all this with four little boys at home. Where did I get that kind of energy? (Where did it go???)

Anyhoo, I  fed the horses their breakfast, then I was off to have Rufus tortured at the vet, followed by the bank and the grocery store. One thing I love about winter is Rufus can tag along on errand days without fear of coming back to the car with the window busted out and a crowd standing around because I was accidentally cooking the dog in the car..

By the time I got home with the groceries I didn't even feel like I had the energy to unload them. I did, but in that weird, take forever, leave them in the bags for an hour way that I hate.  There was a patch of sun on the great room carpet that kept calling to me, but I resisted.

I kept the laundry going (while watching Downton Abbey. I can't believe this is the last season..sad!!) Made a huge pot of spaghetti so my man won't starve and FINALLY made a batch of kombucha.

Back down to feed and close up the barn. The cat ate a mouse in what appeared to be two large bites, then barfed it up on the feed room table..that was fun to clean up.. Ah farm living!!!!

Now I am sitting on my bed surrounded by four huge baskets of clean laundry that need to some how fold themselves and jump into the dresser.

Another early day tomorrow.  Picking the kiddo up at 8 am.. So tired. Must. get. laundry. done...



Sunday, January 3, 2016

I have a confession..

Journal Day 3

I have a confession to make.  I'm not proud of it. In fact it's extremely embarrassing.  If you came to my house, I doubt that you would even realize it.  I hide it well...

Welcome to my home, pretty orderly and neat, right? A place for everything and everything in it's place, (perennially in need of a good dusting though). Would you like a cup of tea?

WAIT!!! PLEASE!!! Don''t open that CLOSET!!!  Ooh, too late.. Hehe. It's ok, really. No worries, I'll put all that stuff back in there later.. Now, what about that tea?

Open just about any closet or drawer in my house and the ugly truth reveals itself. I am a muddled  messy.  My closets are in chaos, the drawers disorderly, the paperwork punch-drunk. Being so disorganized means that I cannot locate anything in a timely manner. Important things. Tax forms, insurance records, the snorkel gear. Things my husband asks for, things he needs me to find right now. I'm breaking out in a nervous sweat just thinking about it.

This monster problem has been on my New Year's Resolution list for so many years, that it has just  automatically started showing up on it's own every January 1st. I think I may have tried just about every self help book out there. I get better for awhile, but I've never been able to maintain neatness and inevitably I fall back into my same hurried, cram it somewhere patterns.

But wait folks, there's more! And this part is really awkward.. My husband is neat.  He is VERY neat. And orderly.  I know it must drive him crazy that I am messy. Bless him, he has tried to help me. He has organized me with lists and charts and colored stickers.. We make plans for me to have a garage sale, put items on Craig's list and eBay. And it works! At least it works while he's helping me.

But when I am again left to my own devices, I feel overwhelmed with the enormity of the tasks before me. Opening boxes to find that my mother actually saved every one of my art projects from kindergarten?? Well maybe I was no Picasso, but those have to worth something, right?  Did I mention that I also have a bit of a problem with procrastination and am easily distracted?  Trying to decide what stuff is important to keep and what to actually let go of seems gargantuan. I struggle in fits and starts, and eventually everything quietly falls back into disarray.

 I guess you don't need to be an Einstein to grasp this, but I believe the biggest problem to overcoming messiness is "stuff". And I have SO. Much. Stuff. Years and years and YEARS worth of stuff.  Since I live in a large home I have always gotten away with this secret messiness by just putting this stuff in "the storage room"(read: black hole). The room is lined with shelves all the way to the ceiling. In there I have stuff I haven't needed or looked at in years. It's nice stuff. Good stuff. Precious stuff and unnecessary stuff. Stuff I keep because it was my mother's, or maybe even her mother's. Stuff that I have some weird emotional obligation to hold on to forever. All this stuff has begun to feel like a ball and chain.  But it doesn't matter because it is out of sight and out of mind. No need to even think about that room or what's in it. Right?

Well guess what.. my husband wants to downsize. Put the farm on the market, move to a smaller no upkeep place so we can travel. He said he might even like a condo. A CONDO?? I can't fit all this stuff into a condo! The truth is all this stuff is weighting me down, I can't drag it around with me anymore. I truly want to get free!

And now it's real. I have a deadline. We are putting the house on the market May 1st.  I like deadlines, they help me to focus, they get me motivated! I can do this!!! Yes! I will be organized by May 1st!!! I gotta go get started!! I should make a list. And get some stickers. Let's pop the top on this first box...MY kid's kindergarten artwork. Nice! Gotta keep that!

And ooh, look at this! Something shiny..

Saturday, January 2, 2016

My fade into Facebook

Journal Day 2

For some time now I've chosen to ignore the fact that Facebook has a tendency to undermine my sense of well-being. Still, I seem drawn to it like a moth to flame. Last night I once again admitted that FB, and to some extent the whole of the Internet does little to enhance my life. The negatives always seem to outweigh the positives. 

While I love keeping up with family and friends through Facebook, the net (how apropos) is thrown wide and I am pulled into what has become for me, a time sucking black hole. 

I will think I am hopping online "real quick like" to check my email and FB, but what inevitably happens is I click on something interesting. Then I click on something else "interesting". Then I click, click, click, click... By the time I come up for air, my coffee has gone cold and 45 minutes will  have passed without me, 45 minutes I won't get back. I've decided I want to be more present in ALL my minutes, so.. 

Day 2 of my journaling journey is also a bit of a "goodbye for now" to my Facebook friends. I will miss you all terribly, but I am in need of a break. I'd like to see something outside this little box I've been staring into. To live a bit more of a natural existence out here in the fray.  

I will probably keep tossing the odd journal entry up onto my blog, and I if you need me, I think my private messenger will keep working since it is supposedly separate from Facebook now, so please feel free to contact me there. 

I wish you blessings my friends, I will be thinking of you!